A Canadian accused of being an al-Qaida operative who trained in Afghanistan was removed Wednesday from a U.N. Security Council terrorist blacklist.
Abousfian Abdelrazik, who was born in Sudan, was arrested but not charged during a 2003 visit home to see his mother. He has already been formally cleared by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the Canadian Security Intelligence Service of any terrorism-related allegations.
As a result of Wednesday's decision, "the assets freeze, travel ban and arms embargo set out in ... Security Council resolution 1989 no longer apply" to Abdelrazik, the UN body said.
"He was just ecstatic and shouting, and I could hear the cheers in the background with his children," Abdelrazik's lawyer, Paul Champ, said in an interview. "It was really a great moment."
In 2006, the Bush administration added Abdelrazik to a U.N. Security Council terrorist blacklist and a separate U.S. "no-fly" list. A year later, the Canadian government tried unsuccessfully to get him delisted.
Abdelrazik said CSIS and American FBI officers interrogated him about alleged links to terrorism. He has also accused CSIS of providing questions to the Sudanese authorities who tortured him during his detention.
Canada has long insisted it knew nothing of the purported abuse.
While he was behind bars in Sudan, Abdelrazik's passport expired and he subsequently lived in makeshift quarters at the Canadian Embassy in Khartoum.
He's been trying to clear his name since June 2009, when he returned to Canada.
In June 2009, Federal Court Justice Russel Zinn concluded that CSIS "was complicit in the detention" of Abdelrazik in Sudan. Zinn said that finding could change "if and when full and complete information" is provided by the spy service as to its role.
In his ruling, Zinn said the government breached Abdelrazik's constitutional rights by denying him a temporary passport. The federal government did not appeal the court ruling.
Zinn also said there was no evidence Abdelrazik is affiliated with al-Qaida. The RCMP has said there is no evidence linking Abdelrazik to criminal activities, and CSIS maintains it is not interested in him.
Abdelrazik is now suing the federal government.
Champ said he will meet with his client about "what comes next."